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Cabinet might consider rise in MGNREGS workdays for ST, forest dwellers

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Ahead of the polls, the cabinet is expected to consider several measures, including a proposal to raise the workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to 150 a year for scheduled tribes and forest dwellers and another to open 54 Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country in the next year. The meet is likely to be held on Friday.

According to an official, a proposal to grant special category status to the Seemandhara region of Andhra Pradesh, as announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament, is in the works and may come up for discussion.

The Planning Commission is likely to come out soon with a Cabinet note on providing the status on revenue loss following bifurcation.

Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, "I have read the prime minister's statement (in the Rajya Sabha). Maybe they want a Cabinet note."

He said the government intended to provide assistance to the state in a 90:10 ratio; 90 per cent would be grants and the rest loan.

By the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula for the devolution of assistance, 30 per cent of the funds are for special-category states.

The 11 special category states are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim.

Meanwhile, for scheduled tribes and forest dwellers, the cabinet proposal said the tribals who had received land rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) will be eligible for additional 50 days of wage employment under the MGNREGS.

The beneficiaries would be those who have no private land and have completed 100 workdays in that financial year. Around 1.4 million individual and community titles have been distributed under the FRA. Of these, 800,000 individual titles have been given in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Govt set to bring ordinances on two anti-corruption Bills
Pushed by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, the government looks set to shortly bring ordinances on two anti-corruption Bills and on three others that could not be passed.

Sources said the ordinances were ready on the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill. The ordinances could be brought before the Cabinet this week.

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First Published: Wed, February 26 2014. 00:02 IST